The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

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                                                  [Page 142]
On 7th November, 1943, in the course of the speech to which
we have already alluded, the defendant Jodl, speaking of the
tasks incumbent upon the populations of German-occupied
territories, declared (Exhibit RF 1431, which I quoted some
time ago):

     "In my opinion the time has come when we must have no
     scruples in taking stern and resolute measures in
     Denmark, Holland, France and Belgium in order to force
     thousands of unemployed to work on fortifications,
     which is more essential than any other work. The
     necessary orders have already been given."
Sauckel expresses himself in similar terms. Jodl also
champions this requisitioning of services to utilise the
potential labour of the Western occupied territories for
military purposes in the exclusive interest of Germany. It
matters little that Article 52 of the Hague Convention
prohibits such procedure.

For him, too, total warfare and the triumph of Germany take
precedence over respect for international conventions or the
customs of war.


I now come to the responsibility of the defendant Keitel in
the sphere of economic spoliation and looting of art
treasures. I shall be extremely brief. I point out to the
Tribunal three documents which have already been submitted
to it. I simply refer to them: Exhibits RF 1441 (1-FA) and
RF 1400 (137-PS -- submitted 18th December, 1945, by the
American prosecution as Exhibit USA 379), and finally RF
1443 (138-PS), submitted yesterday as Exhibit RF 1310.

Further to this, I shall merely submit to the Tribunal to-
day a short letter consisting of five lines, addressed by
Keitel to Rosenberg, Chief of the Einsatzstab. This is
Exhibit RF 1444, Document 148-PS, which reads as follows:

     "Most Honoured Minister.
     In reply to your letter of 22nd February, I inform you
     that I have instructed the High Command of the Army to
     make the necessary arrangements with your delegate for
     the work of your operational detachments in the
     operational area."
It can therefore be said that Rosenberg's activities
received the continued support and assistance of the Army
from the very first and in this way Keitel also made a
personal contribution to the looting of the art treasures of
France and the Western countries. These measures were at
first invested with an appearance of legal justification.
They did not take place, according to Keitel, by virtue of
prize court law, but simply as a guarantee for future peace
negotiations. But these measures quickly degenerated into a
general plundering of the art treasures of all kinds
possessed by these Western countries, in violation of the
stipulations of Articles 46, 47 and 56 of the Hague
Convention, which forbid the confiscation of private
property and the pillage or seizure of works of art and
science by the members of the occupying army.


I have now reached the last main part of my declaration,
which concerns (Page 28) the violations of conventions and
laws of war relating to prisoners of war. In this field, in
particular, Keitel and Jodl have made themselves guilty of
peculiarly unwarrantable measures, contrary to the laws of

To begin with, they have violated Article 6 of the Appendix
to the Hague Convention, which stipulates that "work carried
out by war prisoners shall not be excessive and shall have
no connection with war operations."

Now, in a memorandum signed on his behalf, dated 31st
October, 1941, Keitel, as Chief of the O.K.W., forces
Russian prisoners of war, interned in the Reich, to perform
work connected with war operations. This is proved by
Exhibit RF 1445, 194-EC, submitted by the American
prosecution on 12th December, 1945, as Exhibit USA 214. In
this text Keitel expresses himself thus:

                                                  [Page 143]
     "The Fuehrer has just ordered that even the labour
     capacity of Russian prisoners of war must be placed at
     the disposal of the German war economy on a large
That is the signal for the immediate setting up of a
programme for incorporating these prisoners into the German
war economy. It is true that this document, dating from
1941, concerns only Russian prisoners of war; but from 21st
March, 1942, the incorporation of all war prisoners into the
German war industry, and more especially the armament
industry, is put into practice. The decree signed by Hitler,
appointing Sauckel General Plenipotentiary for Labour, to
which reference already has been made, provides, likewise,
for the use of all prisoners of war in the German armaments
industry. This is shown by Exhibit RF 1440, which reveals
the violation of Articles 27, 31, 32, and 33 of the Geneva

One month later, on 20th April, 1942, Sauckel expressed
himself thus, in his mobilisation programme for the labour
forces Exhibit RF 144, 016-PS, submitted 11th December,
1945, by the American prosecution as Exhibit USA 168:

     "It is absolutely necessary to make the fullest
     possible use of all prisoners of war and to employ the
     greatest possible number of new civilian workers, both
     men and women, if the labour programme in this war is
     to be realised."
In this way Sauckel succeeded in incorporating 1,658,000
prisoners of war into the war economy of the Reich by 6th
February, 1943, as he announced in a speech made at Posen.
This is shown by Exhibit RF 1447, Document 1739-PS,
submitted on 8th January, 1946, by the French prosecution as
Exhibit RF 10.

The 1,658,000 prisoners of war were the following:

            Belgians                            55,000
            French                             932,000
            British                             45,000
            Yugoslav                           101,000
            Poles                               33,000
            Russians                           488,000
            Others                               4,000
                       Total                 1,658,000

The fact that such a large contingent was put at the
disposal of the German war economy implies perfect
collaboration between Sauckel's labour services and Keitel,
who, in his capacity as Chief of the High Command, was
responsible for this reservoir of manpower and the use to
which it was put.

These flagrant violations of the Hague and Geneva
Conventions were later accompanied by measures inspired or
authorised by the defendants, and which were even more
serious because they no longer violated only the war
prisoners' rights as such, but also involved physical
assaults on their persons, which might even cause their
deaths. These violations have a bearing on the following
points: first of all, the violation of security (Page 32 of
my presentation).

Exhibit RF 1448, 823-PS, submitted 30th January, 1946, as
Exhibit RF 359, offers us a report drawn up by the office of
the Operations Staff for the Army High Command. --It relates
to the establishment of camps for British and American Air
Force prisoners in German bombed towns. The Staff of
Operations of the Luftwaffe proposed this arrangement so
that the presence of these air force prisoners might protect
the population of the cities concerned against possible
attacks by the British and American Air Forces and in order
to transfer all the existing camps for Air Force prisoners
to these places.

                                                  [Page 144]
Jodl approved this measure on behalf of the General Staff of
the High Command, considering that if it was limited to the
establishment of new camps, it would not be contrary to
International Law.

If we did not know the reason underlying this decision we
might believe, like the defendant Jodl, that it does not run
counter to International Law. But this measure, as the first
lines of this document specify, is above all an indirect
means of safeguarding the German urban population. The
Allied war prisoners are only a means of warding off
possible air attacks; and to attain this end no hesitation
is shown in aggravating their condition by exposing them to
the dangers of war. This is a grave violation of the
obligation regarding the safety of prisoners imposed by
Article 9 of the Geneva Convention upon the power detaining
prisoners of war.

Keitel writes only two words on the first page of the
document -- "No objections" -- and adds his initials.

I now come (Page 34) to the measures taken against escaped

The nature of these measures later became particularly
serious, as is shown by Exhibit RF 1449 Document 1650-PS,
submitted on 13th December, 1945, by the American
prosecution as Exhibit USA 246. The Tribunal is sufficiently
informed as to this and it is not necessary, I think, for me
to read it.

This document reveals the "Kugelaktion " which was designed
to put a stop to the escapes of officers and N.C.O.'s.

Its only purpose was to turn escaped prisoners over to
police organisations. This is the "Sonderbehandlung"
referred to in orders and reports, but this "special
treatment," as you know, is nothing more or less than

Yet, in the terms of Article 47 and succeeding Articles of
the Geneva Convention, only disciplinary punishment, in the
form of arrest, can be inflicted by the detaining Power on
escaped prisoners of war. Keitel did not hesitate to abandon
these methods for more radical means.

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